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Denomination: 'Niobe'
Botanical Name: Hordeum vulgare
Applicant/Holder: Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation
Crop Assurance and Rural Programming Branch
1st Floor, 7000-113 Street
Edmonton, Alberta
T6H 5T6
Breeder: Patricia Juskiw, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Lacombe, Alberta
Agent in Canada: SeCan Association
400-300 Terry Fox Drive
Kanata, Ontario
K2K 0E3
Tel: 613-592-8600 ext.223
Application Date: 2002-04-18
Application Number: 02-3056
Grant of Rights Date: 2004-12-20
Certificate Number: 2066
Date rights revoked: 2013-12-20

Variety Description

Varieties used for comparison: 'Seebe' and 'CDC Dolly'

Summary: Niobe' is a two-row, spring, feed barley variety that has a narrower flag leaf than 'Seebe'. The intensity of the anthocyanin colouration on the auricles of the flag leaf is medium for 'Niobe', weak for 'Seebe' and very strong for 'CDC Dolly'. 'Niobe' has a horizontal spike attitude, whereas the spike of 'Seebe' is semi-erect. The spike of 'Niobe' is longer than the spike of 'CDC Dolly'.


'Niobe' is a two-row, spring, feed barley variety which has intermediate juvenile growth habit and green coleoptiles. At tillering there is no pubescence on the sheaths of the lower leaves and the plant growth habit is semi-erect. At booting, very few or none of the plants have recurved flag leaves. The flag leaf has weak pubescence on the blade and sheath and strong glaucosity on the sheath. There is medium anthocyanin colouration and weak pubescence on the auricles of the flag leaf.

The spike of 'Niobe' emerges mid-season and the collar is platform shape. At the beginning of anthesis the lemma awns have medium anthocyanin colouration at the tips. At the end of pollen development the spike is weakly glaucous and horizontal in attitude. 'Niobe' has a parallel spike which is of medium density. The sterile spikelet has a divergent attitude. The first segment of the rachis is medium in length and weakly curved. The glume and awn of the median spikelet are equal in length to the grain. The lemma awns are longer than the spike and are rough (barbs from tip to next to kernel).

The kernel of 'Niobe' has a husk and the aleurone layer is white. The nerves of the lemma have weak anthocyanin colouration. The rachilla hairs are short and spiculation of the inner lateral nerves of the dorsal side of the lemma is weak. The kernel has no hairiness of the ventral furrow. The lodicules are clasping and the basal markings on the kernel are horseshoe shaped. The kernel of 'Niobe' is medium in length and width.

'Niobe' has fair to good lodging resistance and good resistance to shattering, straw breaking and neck breaking. The variety has a fair tolerance to drought.

Origin & Breeding History: 'Niobe' originated from the cross 'AC Oxbow' x 'CDC Guardian' which was made in 1992. Heads from the F2 bulk of the population H92031 were selected for a single seed descent program in 1993. The F3 and F4 plants were grown in growth chambers in Saskatoon in the winter of 1993-4. The F5 headrows of this population were grown at Lacombe in the summer of 1994. From these headrows the line H92031021 was selected to enter into yield testing from 1995-2001. Purification of the line also took place during this period, being completed with 188 breeder lines being bulked at the F11 level in 2000 to form Breeder seed of the variety. In 2000 this line was entered in to the Western 2 Row Barley Cooperative Test as TR651. TR651 was named 'Niobe'.

Tests & Trials: Tests and trials for 'Niobe' were conducted at the Field Crop Development Centre, Lacombe, Alberta during 2002 and 2003. The trials consisted of three replicates per variety. Each plot was 2.5 metres long and consisted of 8 rows, spaced 14cm apart. The plots were spaced 45cm apart.

Comparison tables for 'Niobe' with reference varieties 'Seebe' and 'CDC Dolly'

Flag leaf length (cm)

  'Niobe' 'Seebe' 'CDC Dolly'
mean 13.3 12.1 15.0
range 9.1-17.7 9.6-17.0 12-18.5

Flag leaf width (mm)

  'Niobe' 'Seebe' 'CDC Dolly'
mean 8.7 10.4 7.7
range 7-11 9-13 7-9

Plant height (including spike and awns) (cm)

  'Niobe' 'Seebe' 'CDC Dolly'
mean 73 77 70
range 70-75 75-80 65-75

Spike length (excluding awns) (cm)

  'Niobe' 'Seebe' 'CDC Dolly'
mean 9.4 8.9 7.7
range 8-10 7-10 7.5-8.5
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